Congress’ Capitol Riot Subpoenas Connect Trump and Jan. 6 Organizers


  • The Jan. 6 select committee on Friday subpoenaed 6 people involved in planning the rallies ahead of the Capitol riot. 
  • Some people were in “direct communication” with Trump regarding the January 6 rally, the committee said.
  • The committee has subpoenaed dozens of others involved in organizing the events in Washington.

The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on Friday subpoenaed six people with close ties to former President Donald Trump, including Ohio congressional candidate Max Miller, who served as a Trump White House and campaign aide.

“Some of the witnesses we subpoenaed today apparently worked to stage the rallies on January 5th and 6th, and some appeared to have had direct communication with the former President regarding the rally at the Ellipse directly preceding the attack on the US Capitol,” Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the committee, said in a statement. 

Miller helped organize the January 6 “Save America” rally and met with Trump in the West Wing on January 5 along with Trump campaign aide Katrina Pierson, who was previously subpoenaed by the committee, and former Trump assistant Robert “Bobby” Peede Jr., who was also subpoenaed on Friday. The group discussed who’d be speaking at the rally on Washington’s Ellipse.

At that rally, Trump told the audience the election was a “theft” and exhorted them to march on the US Capitol where the election was about to be certified, saying: “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Trump stayed silent for hours while the mob assaulted police officers trying to defend the Capitol, eventually asking them to stand down, saying “you’re very special.” Rioters assaulted officers over 1,000 times, a review found.

In a Thursday letter to Miller, the Committee said it wanted to know more about whether Miller leveraged political connections to secure rally permits for the January 6 events. Miller tweeted on Thursday that he would cooperate with the subpoena, but that he’d seek to “disband” the Select Committee if he’s elected to Congress. 

“Upon taking office, I will make sure one of my first votes is to disband this partisan committee that has weaponized its powers against innocent Americans,” he tweeted. “I will accept service of this subpoena but I will defend my rights just as I will defend the rights on my constituents when elected.”

Trump’s director of political affairs, Brian Jack, was subpoenaed for documents and testimony concerning his efforts to invite GOP members of Congress, including Rep. Mo Brooks, to speak at the Ellipse rally. 

The Committee also subpoenaed Ed Martin, a “Stop the Steal” movement organizer involved with financing the events and paying vendors, Kimberly Fletcher, who worked with “Moms for America” to organize a rally on January 5th and the Ellipse rally on the 6th, and Bryan Lewis, who obtained a permit for a Capitol rally with the purpose of urging Congress not to certify the 2020 election won by Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

The committee has subpoenaed dozens of others involved in organizing the events in Washington on January 5th and 6th that culminated in the riot.

Trump, for his part, has invoked executive privilege over records that have been requested by the committee. But a federal appeals court on Thursday rejected his bid to block the committee from obtaining the documents, saying in a blistering 68-page opinion that while the court recognizes the constitutional protections of executive privilege, the power “should not be used to shield, from Congress or the public, information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself.”

The ruling was a bad sign for high-profile Trump allies like former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Both men refused to comply with subpoenas to sit for depositions, citing Trump’s executive privilege claims.

The Justice Department charged Bannon in October with two misdemeanor counts of contempt of Congress after the House of Representatives made a criminal referral. And on Wednesday, the January 6 select panel announced it would move forward with a contempt referral for Meadows as well.